For the last two-plus months, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson has told reporters that he’d love to finish his career with the Vikings. While that stance may be true, Peterson might be opening to door to venture elsewhere.
Minnesota signed Peterson via free agency in 2021, a transaction that fell out of the sky. No one in the Vikings community believed Peterson was on then-GM Rick Spielman’s radar, but the future Hall of Famer reportedly wanted to play for Mike Zimmer.
Patrick Peterson May Have New Preferred Destination
Ten months after Peterson signed on the Vikings dotted line, Spielman and Zimmer were fired, and the ex-Arizona Cardinal re-upped with Minnesota for another year.
Now, though, he could welcome a change of scenery if his cousin Bryant McFadden and The Falcon Report can be believed. Carl Dukes of CBS Sports Radio tweeted last week, “Bryant McFadden just told us that Patrick Peterson would love to be in Atlanta with the Atlanta Falcons. He is a free agent.”
Peterson affirmed before the start of the 2022 season that he wanted to play three more seasons in the NFL — or two more (now) in 2023 and 2024. It is unclear why he’d join a Falcons team that wouldn’t likely contend during the timeframe.
The Falcon Report, the entity that reported Peterson’s interest in the Falcons, seemed lukewarm on Peterson as a free agent, “While spending big bucks is not likely the place the Falcons will look first, we can make the argument that if this team thinks its on the verge of contention, it ought to think bigger — like Jalen Ramsey-size big, though that amounts to a two-year, $50 million bite in a trade with the Rams.”
A week and a half ago, Peterson said on the same All Things Covered show last week about staying in Minnesota, “I would love to be there in that purple and gold again and give it a run again just because I love the community there. I love the organization. I love the new regime that [was] brought into that building, the trainers, the strength and conditioning staff. It’s just amazing. I truly believe it felt like home for me. I felt like it was a place that I belonged. But we all know it’s a business.”
The next day, Peterson reaffirmed his plans to stay with the Vikings, telling CBS Sports, “I love it there,” in reference to Minneapolis and the Vikings organization.
Between the snippet from All Things Covered and the chat with CBS Sports, Vikings 2022 defensive coordinator Ed Donatell was fired. And the veteran corner reacted to that news, too, “I was shocked, you know, to see they moved on from Coach Ed. It’s just unfortunate that they had to make that change after just one year. Coach Ed is such a great human being; has a great connection with his players.”
Peterson produced a remarkable 2022 regular season, ranking as the league’s 13th-best cornerback, according to Pro Football Focus. The 32-year-old turned back the clock to 2018 or so, grading an outstanding 77.8 from PFF. He was phenomenal, impacting a defense that needed all the silver linings it could find.
If Peterson indeed bolts to Atlanta or elsewhere, the Vikings have three cornerbacks under contract in 2023 — Andrew Booth, Cameron Dantzler, and Akayleb Evans. Standout Duke Shelley is also a free agent who can probably be retained for cheap.
Peterson will turn 33 this summer.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).